PhD Fellowship in Translational Bioinformatics of Host-Pathogen Interaction
University of Copenhagen Department of Immunology and Microbiology

PhD fellowship in translational bioinformatics of host-pathogen interaction at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in modelling host-pathogen interaction commencing on 1 September 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research

This project will be carried out in the Bacterial Infection Biology (BIB) group at Costerton Biofilm Center. The BIB group offers a well-established platform for studying biofilm infections. We focus on the establishment of infecting biofilms, the cross-link between the host and infecting bacteria to improve diagnostics and treatment. The group conducts both basic and applied research on the molecular level as well as on a broader scale. The group consists of a broad variety of researchers with close collaboration to clinical departments. The position will be at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, which is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND).

Project description

The PhD position is part of a project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation ‘Persistent Bacterial Infections (PERFECTION)’. The project involves collaboration between UCPH, DTU and Stanford University. Persistent bacterial infections are a serious global health problem, affecting a broad range of people with diabetes, obesity, smokers, immune-compromised conditions, implants etc. In the clinic, the number of patients with persistent infections is growing.

This PhD project aims to generate knowledge of host-microbe interaction profiles in chronic wounds. In the project, wound samples collected from patients will be used for studying microbial and tissue transcriptomic profiles. The PhD candidate is expected to analyse sequencing data using state-of-the-art bioinformatics methods and perform microbiological experiments in the laboratory. We aim to answer basic biological questions about host-pathogen interactions as well as to identify potential infection biomarkers to improve diagnostics and/or treatment strategies. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with researchers working on patient sample collection and translational in vitro models.    

Principal supervisor is Professor Thomas Bjarnsholt, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, E-mail: Direct phone +4520659888.

Start:             1 September 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter

Duration:       3 years as a PhD student

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team.
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching and disseminating your knowledge.
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g., bioinformatics, mathematical modelling, computer science, statistics, biotechnology and/or biology. It is seminal that the applicant has experience in working with -omics datasets in an independent manner. Practical experience in a microbiology laboratory is a benefit, but not a specific criterion. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in bioinformatics and applying mathematics, statistics and computer science techniques in biology
  • Language skills

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories for microbiological studies.

Terms of employment

The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years. The start date is 1 September 2022.

The employment is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree.

Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 27,800 DKK/Roughly 3,700 EUR (October 2021 level) plus pension.


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website: 

Application procedure

Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline:  15 May 2022, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You find information about the recruitment process at: 

The applicants will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background. 


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 15-05-2022
Employment start: 01-09-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Immunology & Microbiology

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